Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

'Frogs' and 'mushrooms' bubble up in quantum fluids

05.04.2018

Exotic states of matter mix to form fanciful shapes in supercomputer simulations

Quantum fluids may mix in very weird ways, according to new computer simulations of exotic states of matter known as Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs).


Sort of looks like a frog, right? Researchers at The Ohio State University and their colleagues are using a supercomputer to simulate what happens when two exotic superfluids mix. The simulations have produced some unusual shapes, including 'mushrooms' and this frog-like shape.

Credit: Image by Kui-Tian Xi, courtesy of The Ohio State University. [K.-T. Xi et al., Phys. Rev. A (2018)]

Far in the future, BECs may enable new kinds of ultra-fast computers. But for now, researchers are just trying to understand the basic physics of how they work.

That's what an Ohio State University visiting scholar in the Department of Physics, Kui-Tian Xi, and his colleagues were doing when they used a supercomputer to simulate what would happen if someone mixed two magnetically polarized BECs.

Snapshots from the simulations, published in the journal Physical Review A, resemble ink blot tests that can be interpreted in any number of ways. As one fluid percolated up through the other, Xi first saw the blobs form a turtle (that is, a pattern with six finger-like shapes that looked like a head, tail and four legs, similar to a turtle), then a frog (back legs akimbo) and finally an explosion of mushroom shapes.

It might not have been exactly what he expected, but Xi said he wasn't all that surprised, either.

"To be honest, I did expect that I may see some interesting dynamical properties. But when I first saw the turtle, I thought I might have calculated the parameters of the simulation wrong," he said. "Then I realized there might be some kind of instability at the interface of the fluids, just like those of classical fluids."

Bose Einstein Condensates are gases made of atoms that are so cold, all of their motion nearly ceases. As the Indian physicist Satyendra Nath Bose and Albert Einstein predicted in the 1920s--and experiments eventually proved in the 1990s--BECs display strange properties because all the atoms occupy the same quantum state.

As such, BECs are superfluids. They are supposed to be frictionless, so they should flow together with zero viscosity. Yet, when Xi adjusted parameters of the simulation, such as the strength of the magnetic interactions, the two fluids mixed as if one was more viscous than the other--the way viscous hot wax bobs through less viscous water inside a lava lamp.

Xi and his colleagues, including Hiroki Saito, study leader and professor of engineering science at the University of Electro-Communications in Japan, believe that the simulations offer clues to phenomena that physicists have seen in actual experiments. Under certain circumstances, BECs do seem to behave like normal matter.

In particular, Xi points to recent numerical simulations at Newcastle University where another superfluid, liquid helium, formed waves of turbulence as it flowed over the rough surface of a wire.

The cause of the strange simulated BEC behavior remains to be seen, but Xi said that current technology would allow experimental physicists to conduct the experiment for real. As a theorist, though, he's going to focus on the possible implications of an increasing connection between the behavior of quantum and classical fluids.

###

Xi and Saito co-authored the study with Tim Byrnes of New York University Shanghai. Their work was mainly funded by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, and they performed their simulations on the Prince computer cluster at New York University.

Contact: Kui-Tian Xi, xi.99@osu.edu

[Editor's note: After May 1, 2018, Xi can be reached at New York University Shanghai at kuitian.xi@nyu.edu.]

Media Contact

Pam Frost Gorder
Gorder.1@osu.edu
614-292-9475

 @osuresearch

http://news.osu.edu 

Pam Frost Gorder | EurekAlert!

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht New material for splitting water
19.06.2018 | American Institute of Physics

nachricht Carbon nanotube optics provide optical-based quantum cryptography and quantum computing
19.06.2018 | DOE/Los Alamos National Laboratory

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

Im Focus: Photoexcited graphene puzzle solved

A boost for graphene-based light detectors

Light detection and control lies at the heart of many modern device applications, such as smartphone cameras. Using graphene as a light-sensitive material for...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Carbon nanotube optics provide optical-based quantum cryptography and quantum computing

19.06.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

How to track and trace a protein: Nanosensors monitor intracellular deliveries

19.06.2018 | Life Sciences

New material for splitting water

19.06.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>